(Last Updated on : 12/01/2010)
Parsi language was the language of the Parsa people who used to rule Iran from 550 to 330 BCE. Scholars also say that Parsi language belongs to the Indo-Iranian languages. Parsi became the language of the Persian Empire and was also spoken in the ancient days ranging from the borders of India in the east, the southern shores of the Persian Gulf, Russian in the north, Egypt and the Mediterranean in the west.
Parsi was also the court language of several Indian kings until the British banned the use of the language, after capturing India in the eighteenth century. The Indian Mogul kings had made Persian their court language. One can still find the engravings filled with Gold
on the walls of the Red Fort
, which reads; 'Agar Ferdows dar jahan ast hamin ast o hamin ast o hamin ast'. The meaning of this sentence is that, if there is a paradise on the earth then it is here it is here it is here.
Parsis migrated to a different world to preserve their religion. Their experience is similar to the dilemma what other minority communities face; questions with regard to their race, religion, customs, language, their extinction and survival, identity and assimilation, tradition and the modern world. When oppresses in their homeland, the Parsis took refuge in India many centuries ago. Staying firm as far as their identity is concerned; they have suitably prospered themselves and also contributed to the polity, economy and civic society of India. It is proved that the Parsi community is the model community in India by providing valuable contribution to the rich religious, social and cultural diversities in India. They came to India in the eighth century, landed in Diu, and afterwards provided shelter in Sanjan (Gujarat)
by Jadhav (Jadi) Rana, the local Hindu King. With the advancing years, the Parsis have conveniently adopted the language, customs and the mode of living of the people of Gujarat. Thus, the Gujarati language
became the native language of the Parsis living in India and sari, the garment worn by Parsi women. When the British arrived in India and the city of Mumbai
was renovated, the Parsis shifted their base from the cities and villages of Gujarat to Mumbai.